So, how can abortion be cured?
If approached intelligently, without political or religious agendas, abortion can be the issue that unifies, connects and defines American society rather than the issue that divides it.
Three areas need to be targeted:
As Dr. Ron Paul is the best choice for president, the following are eight points I want him to consider. If he applies the approach of the Austrian School of Economics to praxeology, which looks at how human behavior impacts complex situations, he may adjust his personal position.
Here are eight points about abortion to carefully consider:
8. The History of Abortion
Please read the Wikipedia articles on the history of abortion and unwanted pregnancy. It would be wonderful if making abortion illegal protected unborn children. It doesn't. Neonaticide is the killing of an unwanted baby within the first 24 hours after birth and is usually committed by the mother. Infanticide is committed after the first 24 hours after birth, with more often fathers than mothers as the perpetrators. Sex education and contraception have helped prevent this sad act. Neonaticide and infanticide rates go down when there is access to contraception and safe abortions. There are also cultural or religious beliefs that prohibit birth control and put the woman in the position of using abortion as birth control. Some women abort due to finances or due to the gender of the fetus (here is a video about sex-selective abortion in India).
7. Roe v. Wade: Could It Be Overturned?
Roe v. Wade has been upheld five times based on the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court has defended Roe v. Wade five times, ruling it as constitutional.
6. Is Planned Parenthood Part of the Problem, The Solution or Both?
Planned Parenthood serves over 5 million people. It is the largest provider of abortions in the U.S.; however, abortions account for only 3 percent of what it does. If its statistics fit the average, abortions performed after 20 weeks amount to 0.042 percent of what Planned Parenthood does. Does Planned Parenthood do more good than bad, serving the public with cancer screening, prenatal and general wellness visits and STD treatment? There are issues where some Planned Parenthood staff have not handled sexual issues with minors legally. Since many reading this article are pro-choice, please take the 15 minutes to watch these videos to understand some of what the pro-life people are upset about. Other questions remain, such as whether it is a good idea to provide a woman seven abortions without providing significant counseling. Wouldn't it be healthier for pro-choice and pro-life advocates to have a common goal to prevent the need for abortions?
5. Whose Viewpoint Has Been Assigning Guilt Solely to the Women Getting Abortions?
The patriarchal viewpoint of punishing women by making abortion illegal is not rational and does not create an effective and lasting solution.
Might this ideology have started with the Adam and Eve story? Eve was the temptress whose offering of the apple to Adam, who was powerless to resist her, led to the downfall of mankind? Adam could have said "no" or kept the serpent out of the garden. Could other religions have a similar structure that sets women up to bear the blame and punishment for men's concupiscence? What is the reason that we never hear about the male impregnator whose baby ended up in a dumpster? This misdirected tradition of wanting women to suffer the sins of men's concupiscence is a method of cleverly deflecting accountability and responsibility from the boy/man. It creates a smoke-and-mirrors illusion, avoids change and has society fighting the wrong demon. Instead, they keep chasing a ghost that they can't catch while the one actually doing the harm, the irresponsible male impregnator, is still active with zero -- yes, zero -- accountability or consequences.
4. Are There Abortion Issues Globally?
Vietnam has the highest rate of abortion, at 83 abortions for every 1,000 women, with both contraception and abortion available and government-subsidized. If making birth control and abortions readily available were the answer, Vietnam would not hold this ranking. The lowest rate, in Belgium and the Netherlands, is 7 abortions for every 1,000 women, and the U.S rate is 22 or 23 abortions for every 1,000 women. Whether abortion is legal or illegal does not seem to be directly linked to abortion rates. Could it be a communication breakdown between genders? Could it be religious, cultural or childhood- or community-based? Is it related to a culture's power distance index, as described by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers? Is it considered disrespectful for a woman in certain cultures to say "no" to sex or ask for birth control and more respectful toward men to get an abortion afterwards? If a male co-pilot were unable to tell the pilot he was driving the plane into a mountain, killing dozens of people, because of "disrespect," how could a female in these cultures speak up for her body?
Belgium has approximately 10,755,000 people, approximately 3,420,000 women between the ages of 15 and 64, and approximately 24,000 abortions annually, and the Netherlands has approximately 16,783,000 people, approximately 5,567,000 women between the ages of 15 and 64, and approximately 39,000 abortions annually. Vietnam, with the highest rate of 83 abortions per 1,000 women, has approximately 87,848,000 people, approximately 31,541,000 women between the ages of 15 and 64, and approximately 2,000,000 abortions annually.
Considering that all three countries have birth control and legal abortion available, why the disparity? Belgium requires six days of counseling before an abortion; the Netherlands requires five. Vietnam may be a country that does sex-selective abortions. Religion? The primary religion in Belgium is Roman Catholicism, practiced by 47 percent of the population. In the Netherlands, Roman Catholics make up 30 percent of the population. Meanwhile, Vietnam is 85-percent Buddhist and 7-percent Catholic. Some religions have specific views on birth control and abortion. For example, Catholicism supports natural family planning but considers birth control pills and condoms as artificial birth control.
3. How Did Sweden Successfully Address Prostitution and Its Relation to Abortion?
In 1998 Sweden decided to publicly debate the problems of sex trafficking, prostitution and the related societal problems, and in 1999 the Swedish legislature criminalized the buying of sex and decriminalized the selling of sex while making resources available to help women and educate the police and joined it to its 1999 omnibus violence against women legislation. The preamble to the new legislation stated:
In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem... Gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them.
The results of this approach? According to Sweden's official 2010 report on the effects of the 1999 law:
Since the introduction of the ban on the purchase of sexual services, street prostitution in Sweden has been halved. This reduction may be considered to be a direct result of the criminalisation of sex purchases.
In a comparison, we have noted that the prevalence of street prostitution was about the same in the three capital cities of Norway, Denmark and Sweden before the ban on the purchase of sexual services was introduced here, but the number of women in street prostitution in both Norway and Denmark subsequently increased dramatically. In 2008, the number of people in street prostitution in both Norway and Denmark was estimated to be three times higher than in Sweden. In light of the great similarities that in many respects exist between these three countries, economically and socially, it is reasonable to assume that the reduction in street prostitution in Sweden is a direct result of criminalisation. ...
The number of foreign women in street prostitution has increased in all the Nordic countries, including Sweden. However, by comparison it can be noted that the dramatic increase in the number of foreign women in street prostitution reported from both Denmark and Norway has no parallel in Sweden. ...
There is nothing to indicate that the prevalence of indoor prostitution that is not marketed through advertisements in magazines and on the Internet, e.g. prostitution in massage parlours, sex clubs and hotels, and in restaurant and nightclub settings, has increased in recent years. Nor is there any information that suggests that prostitutes formerly exploited on the streets are now involved in indoor prostitution. ...
The overall picture we have obtained is that, while there has been an increase in prostitution in our neighbouring Nordic countries in the last decade, as far as we can see, prostitution has at least not increased in Sweden. There may be several explanations for this but, given the major similarities in all other respects between the Nordic countries, it is reasonable to assume that prostitution would also have increased in Sweden if we had not had a ban on the purchase of sexual services. Criminalisation has therefore helped to combat prostitution.
Trafficking in human beings for sexual purposes is a growing form of serious economic crime in large parts of the world. Although it is hard to assess the exact scale of human trafficking for sexual purposes, in Sweden the establishment of this kind of crime is considered to be substantially smaller in scale than in other comparable countries. According to the National Criminal Police, it is clear that the ban on the purchase of sexual services acts as a barrier to human traffickers and procurers considering establishing themselves in Sweden. ...
According to surveys conducted in Sweden in the period following criminalisation, the proportion of men reporting that they have, on some occasion, purchased sexual services has decreased, and it would seem that fewer men purchase sexual services in Sweden than in the other Nordic countries. In a survey conducted in 2008, a number of those asked also reported that the ban had affected their actions to the extent that they no longer purchased sexual services. All in all, the above must be interpreted as meaning that the ban has a deterrent effect on prospective purchasers of sexual services.
Prostitution cannot be legislated without negative consequences to society. In one study, researchers at London Metropolitan University found that the Swedish model was the most successful, and that attempts at regulating prostitution led to significant increases in all facets of the sex industry, such as the involvement of organized crime; child prostitution; the number of foreign women and girls trafficked into the region seeking to regulate it; and indications of an increase in violence against women.
Norway and Iceland enacted similar laws as Sweden. After 10 years Sweden has determined that this policy has had excellent results. An important key, according to Janice Raymond of the Network of East-West Women, is "not so much in penalizing the men (the penalties are modest) as in removing the invisibility of men who are outed when they get caught. This, in turn, makes it less appealing for pimps and traffickers to set up shop in countries where the customer base fears the loss of its anonymity and is declining." Anonymity fosters a lack of accountability.
When a government does not intelligently and firmly protect women and children with its laws, it leads to a proliferation of illegal, immoral and unethical behavior. When government correctly protects women and children, it leads to prosperity, peace and decency.
2. How Can We Prevent Abortions in the First Place?
A major awareness push is needed to educate men and women about the importance of dignity, respect and cherishing their bodies, sexual intimacy and the reality of pregnancy. Americans hear about safe sex, great sex, the G-spot, how to give more orgasms and last longer with little talk of connected, sacred intimacy with someone who is liked, loved and shares compatible communication. A book written by an M.D., Love and Orgasm, talks about how sexual maturity based on emotional connection prevents the disappointments that come from our current focus on sexual sophistication. Dr. Lowen views sexuality as being life-enhancing, increasing vitality and resulting in contentment and satisfaction. Does America and the world actually want a cure for abortion? Or, does it want to continue to hold women solely accountable, blaming and persecuting women, thus allowing men to avoid changing a long tradition of invisibility when it comes to abortion and sexual acting-out?
In 2008, 2.1 million abortions were performed in the U.S. From 1973 to 2008, 50 million abortions were performed in the U.S. Globally, in 2008, 41 million abortions were performed; that is, 20 percent of all pregnancies ended in abortions. In 2008 in the U.S., 2.1 million "irresponsible impregnators" got off with zero accountability. Globally, 41 million irresponsible impregnators faced no consequences, while millions of unborn babies suffered men's self-gratification, aided by the silence and passivity of women.
There is a power in women saying no. It can stop all kinds of atrocities and lead to Nobel-Prize-winning peace movements. Conversely, while men may want to convince women differently, women actually condemn men and society to barbarism by being receptive to intercourse with undeserving men. Women allowing themselves to be abused by men can lead men to engage in more unethical, illegal and immoral behaviors. Look at the good that comes from women standing for right and good by refusing sex with undeserving men, like what took place in the Philippines and Liberia. Women have a spiritual and moral obligation to refuse any type of intercourse with men who are behaving in illegal, immoral and unethical ways.
1. Was Susan B. Anthony Both Pro-Life and Against Criminalizing Abortion? Yes!
In this powerful piece, Susan B. Anthony herself, a woman who worked tirelessly for women, talks frankly about how she finds abortion despicable and wants it addressed at the root cause. Dr. Ron Paul, along with other presidential candidates, has signed the Susan B. Anthony List 2012. Susan B. Anthony is used as the poster child for pro-life/anti-choice groups. She wrote that making abortion illegal is not the solution to ending abortion. Instead, she proposed a solution that required honesty, dignity and virtue from women and women together, partnering in respect of women's right to be individuals, women's right to say "no" and women's right to their own bodies. There is a link between the elimination of prostitution and abortion, and Ms. Anthony elegantly ties them together. Where prostitution (i.e., loveless or unwanted sex) exists, infanticide (or abortion) will also exist. It is a natural byproduct of self-gratifying men and silent, submissive women.
Read her essay "Dreadful Volume of Heart-Histories," excerpted from the article "Marriage and Maternity," below:
In a late REVOLUTION is an extract from the New York Medical Gazette rebuking a practice common among married women, and demanding a law for its suppression. Much as I deplore the horrible crime of child-murder, earnestly as I desire its suppression, I cannot believe with the writer of the abovementioned article, that such a law would have the desired effect. It seems to be only mowing off the top of the noxious weed, while the root remains.
We want prevention, not merely punishment. We must reach the root of the evil, and destroy it. To my certain knowledge this crime is not confined to those whose love of ease, amusement and fashionable life leads them to desire immunity from the cares of children; but is practiced by those whose inmost souls revolt from the dreadful deed, and in whose hearts the maternal feeling is pure and undying. What, then, has driven these women to the desperation necessary to force them to commit such a deed? This question being answered, I believe we shall have such an insight into the matter as to be able to talk more clearly of a remedy.
Women are educated to think that with marriage their individuality ceases or is transferred to their husbands. The wife has thenceforth no right over her own body. This is also the husband's belief, and upon which he acts. No matter what her condition, physical or mental, no matter how ill prepared she may feel herself for maternity, the demands of his passion may never be refused. He thinks, or cares nothing, for the possible result of his gratification. If it be that an immortal being, with all its needs, physical, mental, and moral, shall come into the world to sin, to suffer, to die, because of his few moments of pleasure, what cares he?
He says he is ready to provide for his children, therefore he feels himself a kind father, worthy of honor and love. That is, he is ready to provide for them food and clothing, but he is not willing to provide for them, by his self-denial, sound bodies, good tempers, and a happy ante-natal existence. He gives his wife wealth, leisure, and luxury, and is, therefore, a devoted husband, and she is an undutiful, unloving wife, if her feelings fail to respond to his.
Devoted husband? Devoted to what? To self-gratification at the expense of the respect of his wife. I know men who call themselves Christians, who would insist that they are gentlemen, who never insult any woman -- but their wives. They think it impossible that they can outrage them; they never think that even in wedlock there may be the very vilest prostitution; and if Christian women are prostitutes to Christian husbands, what can be expected but the natural sequence -- infanticide?
Women who are in the last stages of consumption, who know that their offspring must be puny, suffering, neglected orphans, are still compelled to submit to maternity, and dying in childbirth, are their husbands ever condemned? Oh, no! It was only his right as a husband he claimed, and if maternity or death ensued, surely he could not be blamed for that. He did not desire it. The usual tenor of men's conduct in this respect seems on a par with that of Henry VIII, who when asked if the life of his wife or of his child should be saved, as it seemed needful that one should be sacrificed, answered, "O the child, by all means. Wives are easily obtained."
Women whose husbands are habitual drunkards and whose children are therefore idiotic, deformed creatures, and who feel assured that such must be the case with all their offspring, must yet submit. And if such a woman as the dying consumptive, rather than bring into the world such miserable children, rather perhaps than give life to a daughter to suffer all that she has endured, destroys the little being, so she thinks, before it lives, she would be punished by the law, and he, the real murderer, would go unrebuked, uncondemned.
All the articles on this subject that I have read have been from men. They denounce women as alone guilty, and never include man in any plans proposed for the remedy of the evil.
It is clear to my mind that this evil wholly arises from the false position which woman occupies in civilized society. We know that in the brute creation, the female chooses her own time, and... among Indians... yet what Christian woman, wife of a Christian husband, is free to consult her own feelings even in these most delicate situations?
Guilty? Yes, no matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh! thrice guilty is he who, for selfish gratification, heedless of her prayers, indifferent to her fate, drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime. It is very fine to say:
My Author and Disposer, what thou willst,
Unquestioned I obey -- Thus God ordains,
God is my law, thou mine.
But God has never given woman's individuality into the hands of man. If He has, why hold her responsible for this crime? If man takes her individuality he must also take her responsibility. Let him suffer.
No, I say, yield to woman her God-given right of individuality. Make her feel that to God alone is she responsible for her deeds; teach her that submission to any man without love and desire is prostitution; and thunder in her ear, "Who so defileth the body, defileth the temple of the Holy Ghost!" Let maternity come to her from a desire to cherish love and train for high purposes an immortal soul, then you will have begun to eradicate this most monstrous crime.
Teach man to respect womanhood whether in the person of his own wife or the wife of another; teach him that as often as he outrages his wife he outrages Nature and disobeys the Divine Law, then you will have accomplished still more.
Oh, there is a dreadful volume of heart-histories that lies hidden in almost every family in the land! It tells of trust betrayed, of purity violated under sanction of law, of every holy feeling outraged and purest love turned to fear and loathing. If the moral feeling in the heart of woman was not stronger than death itself, the crimes we now chronicle against them would be virtues compared with the depths of wickedness and sin into which they would be driven. But God is stronger than man and he holds us true to ourhigher natures, martyrs though we be. If, on the other hand, women were not so weak and disgracefully submissive, they would rise to the dignity of womanhood and throwing off the degrading touch, would say, "I am free. And to God alone will I unquestioningly yield myself."
I believe all that is needed is for the eyes of men to be opened up to the true state of affairs. They have received without a thought the faith of their fathers. The misery and degradation have not been personally felt by them. But let every wife dare to be honest, let her open her heart freely to her husband, and I know there are few whose better natures would not be touched, few who would not be awakened to a nobler life, to a more exalted view of marriage.
Then would marriage assume its high and holy place. Then would our children be truly olive plants, types of peace, lovingly desired, tenderly cared for, body and soul. Then the wife, looking with love and respect upon the husband, who has never caused her to fear his manhood, could say: "I am thine, and these are they whom God at our desire has given us."
Thoughtless impregnation by a man that leads to abortion can be likened to the social/criminal issue of drunk driving where there is always a fatality. The irresponsible impregnator is the driver entering the woman's body and delivering the sperm. Society has addressed drunk driving by making bartenders more accountable and taking away driver's licenses. Anger management is required for those with anger problems. Let's address the harmful conduct of the irresponsible impregnator through visibility, punishment and education.
What if the men were held more accountable and responsible than the women in abortion? What if we followed Sweden and criminalized the male sex act that led to abortion and confirmed paternity with DNA testing? An irresponsible impregnator was looking for pleasure and didn't care whether the product of his sex act ended up having a stable family life or ended up in a bio-waste bag. That callous act sounds without conscience, without empathy. What if every time a woman came in for an abortion, it was treated as something between a reportable STD, a sex crime and a cry for help, with communication and physical, psychological or financial safety with one free pass in a lifetime for a man who completes required education.
Men and boys have the capacity to control themselves, act honorably and obey society's expectations. The bar has been set too low, with men's biology given as an excuse. The U.S. or the individual states should decriminalize performing and receiving abortions and criminalize the male sex act that leads to an abortion.
Dr. Ron Paul is the one presidential candidate who can best accomplish financial re-stabilization and abortion reform. Dr. Ron Paul is a statesman who can separate his religious views from his Constitutional duty. Even as a practicing Christian Baptist, he was rational enough to change his mind on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, with honorable conduct, no matter what the service member's sexual orientation may be, being the goal.
Pro-life and pro-choice advocates are both right and wrong about certain things. Let's make America the country with the lowest global abortion rate, as our citizens have found a way to live free from rampant irresponsible impregnation. Drinking and driving is as stupid as having unprotected sex with someone with whom you do not want a family. What if abortion is seen as violence initiated by a self-gratifying male act, where the male didn't care about the outcome for his offspring -- death or a lousy life meets a woman without enough good sense, self-worth or personal security to speak effectively for herself, her body or her potential future child?
A woman without a strong "no" has a meaningless "yes." If her upbringing, culture or religion places men above her, requiring her obedience, what chance does she have to say "no" to unwanted, unsafe sex? If she fears for her safety or financial survival or feels unsupported, she often stays silent and does not mention that she forgot to take her pill, instead hoping for the best.
Seeking to make abortion illegal when it does not achieve the desired goal is as illogical and backwarrds as bringing slavery back or taking the right to vote away from women and minorities. A civilized, empowered society with effective communication strategies would not have a significant need for abortion. Americans now know that exercise, diet and stopping smoking prevents heart disease and cancer. Let us redefine pro-life as looking to end the need for abortion, not endorsing making abortion illegal.
"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Follow Laura Trice on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LaurasWJF